I grew up in the OC and now I have been living on an island in the Pacific Northwest for the last 14 years. My life has been full of many titles (Preschool teacher, SCUBA field researcher, marine biology camp instructor, legal secretary, grad student, tech geek, liveaboard, middle school science teacher) however, now I am blessed to be a Stay at Home Mom. Said with pride. Growing up, I was removed from my food and now I am in it. Gardening and buying local meats is how we are creating meals these days. I am not afraid of butter, but margarine makes me cringe. I am mindful of how much sugar we use, and refuse to open a packet of anything identified as a sweetener. I believe in healthy meals, real desserts and giving in to rib-sticking goodness occasionally (although those are the most fun to write about!). Meal planning starts with produce in our house and at least two days a week, we have veggie-only meals. My blog, Mental Chew, is about appreciating seasonal gardening, food and fun for my island-style family. My camera is frequently in front of my face, so I have a little fun posting pics here. I am concerned about what is happening to our food source and through my writing, I hope to inspire moms to get their kids outside, make great food from scratch with their families and get their hands in the dirt. Please, think before you eat and we can all make a difference for our kids.